What is Golf Club Fitting?
Simply put, golf club fitting is a means to make your golf clubs work for you, as opposed to against you.
Imagine this: you just bought a new driver from the Big Box Store. Shiny. Expensive. They do like to make a lot of claims...
Anyway, its been sitting in your bag for about a month now, waiting for the opportunity to prove itself.
You're stoked; the weather's cleared and it's finally time to get out on the course for real! First tee blues? Nope, not today.
You pull that shiny, expensive new driver out of its slot in the upper section of your golf bag. You slowly tug the Superman head cover (or Batman... I don't judge) off your new baby and step up to the tee bristling with confidence.
You go through your pre-shot routine, waggle that baby a couple of times, then let 'er rip...
...and the ball sails off to the right, into the rough. And trees.
This is the third time in as many purchases it's done that. What happened?
Buying Off-the-Rack is a Gamble
You see, golf clubs- drivers, especially- are made too long for the average golfer.
When you don't have fitted clubs, the chances of you not making solid, squared contact with the ball go up. It's not pretty.
But people continuously fool themselves into thinking that the next year's model will be the one to wash away those Slice Right Blues (or Slice Left Blues, for you lefties).
That's not how it works. It's like doing the same thing, over and over, while expecting different results. Continuously buying ill-fitting clubs isn't the recipe to start hitting longer, straighter shots.
It's a gamble, at best. Tom Wishon suggests that only 10% of all golfers can actually handle a club that's bought off-the-rack. The other 90% need something that has either a loft, length, grip size, shaft weight, shaft flex, swing weight, or combination altered to provide the best results.
Fitted Clubs: The Nuts and Bolts
So, diving back into what a golf club fitting is, it's determining the specs you need, specifically, to hit the ball with a club face that's square to the intended target, with what you determine to be the best trade-off between distance and accuracy.
A club fitting is, quite simply, finding the specs you need to hit the ball with a square club face, with what you determine to be an acceptable trade-off between distance and accuracy. -Green Lantern Golf
There are online tools, but you can do this in person, as well.
For my business, specifically, you can come to me and we can find out what you need. It's a process:
We start with an interview. What are your goals? What are your wants? Do you practice at all?
It's stuff like that. If you practice a lot, for instance, I might suggest something different than if you don't practice at all. If you don't practice, an offset driver with more loft might be suggested. You'll get help getting the ball airborne and maximize your carry, and a little more help squaring the club face. This helps compensate for your lack of practice. It's not a band-aid, but it helps.
Finding the Baseline
Getting fitted clubs actually starts with what you're currently using.
If I can find a club you actually love, and you hit it well, I can find out why that one's different from the rest. It might have a different flex and/or weight, so it feels better to you, for example.
Another example: if you hit your driver too low, and I see that it's a 9.5-degree model with a 70-gram shaft, based on your swing speed I might recommend and have you hit-test an 11-degree model with a 60-gram shaft.
One more example: if you hit your 3-wood using impact tape, and I see the marks are all over the face, I can check your 3-wood for length. If I find it's too long, we can try something shorter, to give you more control over the "sweet spot".
From here, I'd give you a recommendation for your fitted clubs. If you want, you could buy from me, but I wouldn't force you to; you do have options when buying golf clubs. You just pay for the fitting and away you go with your new information.
But if you want to buy from me, I'd build you a demo club, and you give that a try. We tweak it if you need it, confirm what's been decided, then I'd build the rest of the set.
What Do You Really Get With Fitted Clubs?
Simply put, you get confidence. You know you have the tools in your hands that were built specifically for you. Not some determined average for everyone; only you.
Is it a magic cure-all? To be frank, no. People say "it's the archer, not the arrow"... but did you know there are different types of arrows? I didn't... but each head has a specific job, it looks like.
Same with golf clubs. From the shape of the heads to the fit, they instill confidence. Your ability is still a determining factor; remember, we want to find the specs that help you hit the "sweet spot" more often and more squarely, with a distance/accuracy trade-off you deem acceptable. A golf club fitting can help mitigate your misses and enhance what you do well, but you have to be involved, too.
With the newfound confidence you'll get, that can happen!